The estate of Lee Bernard Holdsworth of Hamburg, who was diagnosed with asbestos-caused mesothelioma in February 2012, about 11 months before he died at age 74, has been awarded a jury verdict of $3 million.
The verdict in State Supreme Court is against the Crane Co. of Stamford, Conn., manufacturer of gaskets and valves handled by Holdsworth during his work at the Ashland Oil refinery in the Town of Tonawanda before he retired in 1979.
The jury reached its verdict in a two-week trial before acting Justice Jeremiah J. Moriarity III in Buffalo. Jurors held the company liable for the asbestos-filled dust Holdsworth inhaled as he ground up gaskets from Crane-made valves in the refinery.
Michael A. Ponterio, John P. Comerford and John L. LaMancuso, attorneys for the estate of the late Hamburg resident, said he was assigned to refinery “shutdown work” that caused him to regularly inhale asbestos-filled dust that was visible during the gasket grinding process at the plant.
Other corporate defendants in the case made confidential out-of-court settlements before the trial, court officials said.